Hospital Discharge Planning: A Guide for Families and Caregivers
The transition from the hospital to home is not always an easy process, but with proper planning, many patients are able to leave the hospital sooner to fully recover in the comfort of their home. We are very proud of our patient and family-centered model, from the time of admission, to the time of discharge. We work collaboratively with each patient, their family and health care providers to evaluate each patient’s personal discharge plan, their medications and any supplies they may be taking with them.
Oftentimes, there are many details to remember so we recommend having a checklist of your personal preferences about your health care needs and any questions you may have before you leave.Please note our staff can be of special help in arranging home care or continued care in another specialized facility including arrangements for:
- Home care, skilled nursing care, hospice care
- Outpatient physical, speech and occupational therapy
- Medical equipment
- Medical transportation
- Home meal programs
- Referrals to a variety of community agencies
Your physician will determine when you may be discharged. To complete the discharge process, please observe the following procedures:
- While discharge times vary from patient to patient, please be aware that it may occur any time during the day. We advise patients to make transportation arrangements accordingly. In addition, due to the nature of the process, your discharge time may be significantly later in the day and we appreciate you and your family's flexibility regarding scheduling transportation.
- Before you leave, be sure you understand any instructions regarding medications or follow-up office visits.
- Don't forget to check all drawers, cabinets, and night stands before leaving to make sure you have all your belongings. The hospital cannot be responsible for personal property left behind.
After Visit Summary
When you are ready to be discharged, you will receive discharge paperwork commonly known as your After-Visit Summary, or AVS. Your AVS summarizes your condition, medications, follow-up appointments and any other information your health care team wants you to have for your transition home. An important part of this process includes having your follow-up appointment arranged before you are discharged from the hospital. Our goal is to ensure a safe and comfortable transition from MIHS to your next destination, whether that be your home, a rehabilitation facility or an extended care facility.
For your convenience, an electronic version of your AVS will be made available in your MyChart account. MyChart is a patient portal that gives you access to your health information quickly and conveniently from your personal computer, smartphone or tablet, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
Patients receive information about MyChart when they’re admitted to the hospital and receive an activation code at discharge. With MyChart, you are able to:
- Review instructions about your care needs after discharge.
- Receive and review test and lab results.
- Email your practice provider with non-urgent medical questions and get a response within two business days.
- Review your medications, immunizations, allergies and health history.
- Request prescription refills from your practice provider.
- Review post-visit instructions.
If you are concerned about leaving the hospital, please bring it to the attention of your MIHS health care team and ask about your options.
Importance of proper discharge planning
Effective discharge planning can decrease the chances that you are readmitted to the hospital, it ensures medications are prescribed and given correctly, and prepares you and your loved ones to properly take over your care.
Research has shown that excellent planning and proper follow-up can improve patients' health, reduce readmissions and decrease health care costs.
We cannot emphasize this enough – a follow-up appointment to see your doctor should be arranged before you leave the hospital or soon after. Because errors with medications can occur and are potentially dangerous, a thorough review of all medications is an essential part of discharge planning. Your physician/medical provider will reconcile medications that were taken before hospitalization and compare them with the post-discharge medication list to see that there are no duplications, oversights or harmful side effects.
We are interested in your opinion of the services we provide to our patients. You will receive a patient survey once you are discharged and we encourage you to fully report your satisfaction or dissatisfaction with your stay at MIHS. Thank you in advance for your time and for selecting MIHS for your care.